HONOLULU (KITV4) - A federal indictment claims a Philippines-based megachurch was at the center of a nearly two-decades-long sex trafficking scheme covering multiple parts of the world, including Hawaii.
The Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name (KJOC) is headquartered in the Philippines by Apollo Carreon Quiboloy, who considers himself the "Son of God." The church has a chapter in Waipahu.
Quiboloy and several others were indicted by a federal grand jury for their roles in the sex trafficking scheme. Documents allege girls and women were brought to the United States, and forced into sex acts with church leaders, under the threat of "eternal damnation" if they didn't comply.
Also facing charges is Felina Salinas, from Kapolei, who allegedly secured passports and visas for church workers in Hawaii, and directed funds to the Philippines.
Filipino community advocate Amy Agbayani says in cases like this, victims often come from difficult circumstances and immigration exploitation is common. "It's not that obvious that they're doing this cause they have sophisticated ways of getting documents and hiding what is happening and then making sure that the victims are isolated and cannot complain," she says.
"It's a free for all environment for sex trafficking in Hawaii and labor trafficking that we don't talk about, from the data that I have there's only one trafficker arrested per year," says Khara Jabola-Carolus with the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women.
Salinas is facing a judge on Oahu tomorrow, while Quiboloy is believed to be in the Philippines. He also has properties on Oahu and in Las Vegas.